Danielle Allen seminar

by Henry Farrell on June 26, 2015

The seminar on Danielle Allen’s recent book, _Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality_, which is available from Powells, Amazon and Barnes and Noble is now concluded. The entire seminar can be found at this link. The participants in this seminar and their posts:

* Cristina Beltrán is an associate professor of social and cultural analysis and director of Latino Studies at New York University. Slow Reading as a Practice of Reckoning with Love and Loss.

* Henry Farrell blogs here. The Declaration as Patrimony.

* Heather Gerken is the J. Skelly Wright professor of Law at Yale Law School. The Craft of Interpreting the Declaration of Independence.

* Sam Goldman is an assistant professor of political science at George Washington University. You Might Have to Believe in God to Take the Declaration of Independence Seriously

* Chris Lebron is an assistant professor of African-American studies and philosophy at Yale University. Reading Our Declaration in Support of Black Radicalism.

* James Miller is a professor of political science and liberal studies at the New School for Social Research. What Is To Be Done?

* James Wilson is Collegiate assistant professor in the social sciences at the University of Chicago. The Declaration of Independence Isn’t Egalitarian Enough

* Gabriel Winant is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Yale University. To Carry The Past Around With You.

* Danielle Allen is the UPS Foundation professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies’ school of social science, and the incoming director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.
* Post I – Responses to Gerken, Winant and Lebron.
* Post II Problems of Consensus: Responses to Goldman, Farrell, Wilson, Beltran and Miller.

Sam Goldman’s analysis of my treatment of religion in the Declaration is the most astute I’ve seen to date. Consequently, his criticism is also the most subtle. He rightly recognizes that the core of my argument is that the Declaration can be the object of an overlapping consensus in which citizens endorse the same basic laws or principles for different reasons. He then raises questions about the value of the secular component of that overlapping consensus, which is to throw doubt on the value of overlapping consensus as such when it comes to matters of religion. [click to continue…]